My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me Gio!



Dear friends and cyclists of Fulham,

We are writing to you today to deliver some very positive news indeed. Such positive news does not come often, and we are blessed to be sharing these tidings with you all today. It is a wonderful thing when friendship solidifies into a working relationship in an organic and unrestricted fashion resulting from shared passion. Of course, we are talking here about the passion for bicycles and for cycling, which at Gloria we all share unanimously. And so, we are honoured to welcome Giovanni to our team, who will be assuming the responsibilities of Lead Rider in the budding Gloria Cycling Club – not a bad job at all, might we add.

GIOVANNI – the name says it all. This is no mere mortal we are dealing with here, no. This is simply this finest specimen of man that the Mediterranean peninsula from which he hails was able to conjure up with all its force and creativity. A true Italian stallion, Giovanni is a passionate rider whose strength and agility on the bike (and the impressive resulting power output) are only matched by his kindness and amicability. A veritable Local Legend of Richmond Park, on any given day Giovanni can be seen completing lap after lap, stacking the miles and bringing a little touch of Italian class as he conquers the roads on his custom built, vintage Schwinn titanium-framed bicycle (how very convenient).

We met Giovanni (you can just call him Giò if you prefer) in the shop when he first came in for a visit with his brother (who lives in the area, and surprisingly is also Italian), enjoying a black coffee and some delicious GF banana bread. He soon became a regular, showing his face almost daily on his way back from his park rides (the fact we have a formidable Italian Puglia-inspired deli called Tacco next door to the shop might just have had an influence on this), and eventually became a very good friend of ours, showing a great deal of support and enthusiasm for the GLORIA mission.

But who and what really is Giovanni? We ask the man himself a few questions so you can all get to know him a little bit better:

You had quite a multicultural upbringing, can you explain to us where you were born and in which places you grew up or spent time in? Which was your favourite?

Yeah, I was really lucky to have had quite a multicultural upbringing. I was born in Milano in 1991, and at the age of 3 my family moved to Venezuela where we stayed for 5 years. Afterwards, we lived in the Midlands, Barcelona, Paris before going to the US in 2006. And that's where I've been for the past 16 years before moving to London about a year ago. In the US I moved around quite a bit between Philadelphia, PA, Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA. But over the years I've really made an effort to maintain my Italian roots, a plate of pasta is still one of the best things in life in my opinion.

Hard to say my favorite place, I feel like it's the people you're with and the moment you're living that had a bigger impact rather than the place itself. But if I had to relive a certain experience, it would be my time in San Francisco for sure. There are some quirky individuals, really interesting things going on, and stunning places.

How did you get into cycling as a sport or hobby?

I always cycled growing up, exclusively on Decathlon Rockriders... But it was in San Francisco that I seriously got into road cycling. I cut my teeth in the Marin Headlands, it's no Alps of course but there are some pretty big elevation changes out there that make for some amazing riding. There are also many really strong cyclists who are very generous with their experience and from whom I learned a lot. Over the past few years, I've been fortunate to spend pretty long amounts of time between London, Milan, Philadelphia and San Francisco, and in all these cities I got introduced to some really fast riders and amazing groups that reinforced my belief that there are some pretty great people in the cycling community.

Favourite cycling style?

Currently (and as of the past year actually) I'm really enjoying cutting laps around Richmond Park. I unfortunately lost the Local Legend crown recently, but I've done 619 laps to date! The small elevation changes make it really important to focus on finding a good rhythm and maintaining momentum, and the park makes you really strong. I also go on rides to Windsor, Surrey and up to Cambridge (to visit my sister) when time allows.

Tell us about your current bicycle and how you acquired it!

I bought my bike while I was living in California, I love the thing. It's a Schwinn Paramount titanium frame that was welded by Ben Serotta. Classic lines and aside from the 1" stem, it's still a relevant bike. Over the years I've upgraded almost every part, and it now fishes a g

Good amount of compliments! For me, along with a plate of pasta, one of the great things in life is dropping someone on a carbon bike. I've ridden so many miles with it that I know it quite well, and hope to ride many more!

How will you be organising your weekly rides? Distance, speed, route etc…

On weekdays we'll be reliably be going to Richmond Park, my preference is anti-clockwise, but we'll vote on the morning of to see what riders want to do. And weekends we're organizing longer (metric century distances) down to the Surrey Hills, out to Windsor, and I've been really wanting to go cut laps the Olympic Park velodrome. Depending on the group of people that come out we'll adjust speeds, but target for nothing lower than 28KPH. As the group grows, we'll split into casual/performance groups.

Finally, I will mention that despite having ridden a lot over the past year, I'm still getting to know London cycling so I'm all ears if folks want to suggest routes or destinations!

Looking forward to riding with everyone, see you @ GLORIA!


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